The second edition of the Pilsner Super Eight tournament kicks off with a rather enticing encounter between Vipers and Uganda Cup winner Proline at the StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo.
It may be treated as just another pre-season game, but not to new Vipers head coach Edward Golola and his entire coaching staff.
Golola was announced as the new head coach at the Kitende-based side over the weekend, for the third time in the last decade. And upon his confirmation, he fronted how he has always delivered success at the club as the reason they always turn to him.
And Golola can rightly brag about it as he has delivered league success in both of his previous two campaigns at Vipers plus when he was assistant to Portuguese Miguel Da Costa Duarte.
With Vipers rivals KCCA reaching for higher achievements and horizons; including winning the CECAFA Kagame Cup recently, the pressure for the Venoms to replicate or better those achievements become ever more glaring.
“It doesn’t need the boss to emphasize to me that we should fight for the titles. I always want to win and we are going to start by trying to lift the Super Cup tourney,” Golola said ahead of the game.
The Venoms will be competing in this tournament for the first time, after they decided on not taking part last season, and they will be looking at dethroning current champions KCCA but their challenge will begin with a stubborn Proline side.
Proline eliminated Vipers at the quarter final stage during last season’s Uganda Cup, and vengeance will be top of the agenda at least for the visitors when the two teams walk out onto the Lugogo turf.
But, Proline FC head coach Shafik Bisaso said that the game comes at the right time as they prepare for their maiden appearance in the CAF Confederations Cup which kicks off early next month.
“Vipers is a good side and worthy oppositions and they will provide us with the right test ahead of our CAF Confederation Cup games,” Bisaso said.
Former Vipers forward Hamis Diego Kizza has just completed his move to Proline this week and is in line to make his debut against his former side. Defenders Benard Muwanga and Sulaiman Ssekamwa are also expected to make his debut.
Proline will be without Mustafa Mujjuzi who is away on national duty with the CHAN team, but welcome back playmaker Bright Anukani.
Vipers unveiled 13 new players on Tuesday with six of the new faces joining from their sister school St. Mary’s Kitende. Hard tackling midfielder Siraj Ssentamu and Onduparaka defender Rashid Toha were also unveiled and are in line of making their club debuts.
However, new signings Willa Paul and Allan Kayiwa who are still with the Cranes CHAN team will not be available as is Tom Masiko. Taddeo Lwanga is on the verge of completing his move away from the club.
Vipers have picked up nine victories with Proline picking up just two wins in the previous meetings between the two. Only two games have ended in stalemates.